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Live Through Us at The Burrow

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Our Adventures

Our life in all it’s ridiculousness. All true stories. Some funny, some amazing, some sad. *NOTE* I used to have at least a dozen different categories. One for funny, one for just cows and chickens, even one for just the garden. In order to clean things up a bit though, I’ve lumped them all together into this one. Our Adventures. Enjoy!

The New Laptop

When I started writing, I bought a laptop. I couldn’t afford the prices but by a miracle, found a used one for $250. It was an HP Pavilion dv6. It was made in 2012. Brand new, it was $750. Alas, this poor laptop is now limping its last limps.

I had tolerated the BSOD (blue screen of death) for years. It came and went without rhyme or reason. Its parameters were just as random, sometimes the same, other times not. Nowhere online could tell me what the parameters meant. They either weren’t listed or came up as “random memory failure”. My frustration and fear had mounted to where I relinquished in buying a new one.

I thought, “I’ll try to keep it around the $250. I mean, come on, I’m trying to match a five year old device, so it shouldn’t be that expensive.” Please, save your laughter for later.

Upon browsing Amazon, my price slowly rose, with great opposition, until it was around $500. I found one, but it was plastic, not metal, and one reviewer said not to use it for Photoshop, etc, you know, what I’ll be using it for. My Dad offered a Macbook, but I’d rather die. Literally. My hatred for Macs only grew when I was forced to use one at the law office. Not a single person there liked them or could use them. They came to me for help, even the networking professional complained about it. I remapped the keyboards to that of a PC, something the other secretary asked me to do to hers as well. But I digress.

When we went on our anniversary trip, Arlis said to try Best Buy. It was on the way, why not? Oh I found the equivalent of what I had in metal, etc. For $800. I was MAD (I’m still pretty peeved). Why should I pay MORE for a device equivalent to that of five years ago?!?!?!

Computers go through this wavy phase of good machines/bad machines, good prices/bad prices. Right now we’re in a bad machine/bad price phase, hence why I built my past desktop, which still out performs most new ones. The public has been brainwashed to think it’s all about RAM when it’s not. The CPU is vital, something the Best Buy salesman agreed with me on. Don’t get me wrong, RAM is important, but it is useless without the processing power required. It’s like feet without legs.

So anyway, I bring home the new laptop and find a black line down the monitor. I didn’t really care, but online said it would only get worse. We exchanged it for a new one, and now I’m spending FOREVER downloading all the software I need to install in order to see if it will even run what I need it to.

This is part of why I’m so discouraged of late. My schedule has been drastically held back when it was already months behind. I accept that I’ll never catch up, but I don’t want to make it worse!

There is some solace. I posted about my BSOD on a professional forum. After two days, ZERO response on a very active forum. Now, this could mean they don’t take me seriously enough to respond, but I don’t think so. I honestly believe it’s because I made the right decision and got a new machine before the old one bit the dust. I’m just happy I saved all my books in time. That last error message was scary!!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I haven’t run in nearly a week due to our trip, and I have some frustration to remove. Running always makes me feel better.

Living in Limbo

I am currently waiting. I’m waiting on everything. I’m waiting for my back to heal, waiting to see what the doctor says, waiting for Amazon to update my blasted cover so I can PROMOTE IT WITH SALES!!!

Breathe…breathe…

But I digress. (Not really, it’s just a fun sentence to say)

I took a muscle relaxer last night. I hate taking those. They’re basically sleeping pills, and I don’t think they help, at least not enough to counter balance imo. But, I need to do something to show I’m trying, right?

I just can’t get motivated today. I know. I know. Motivation isn’t required to get to work. I have a lot of work to do, I’m just having a hard time getting started. I slept in, and now I’m trying to build myself up to get things done. It’s just so depressing.

I thrive on routine. No, I require routine. I have to have a schedule to get things done, to keep myself sane. And I have had to recreate that schedule three times in two weeks. Furthermore, even though I’m currently recreating a schedule in my head to follow, I know it’s only temporary. I know that the visit to the doctor will more than likely change everything. I know that I’m still trying to find non-back breaking work until and after then, no matter what he says, and that will undoubtedly change my schedule yet again, so…

I am waiting.

Update on the Job Hunt

I’m no longer tired, but I am very frustrated.

I worked at the bakery three days last week. I started having a pain in my back on night two. I was sore all over my upper body, arms, shoulders, back, but like sore muscles from working out, those sore areas went away, especially with more exercise. This back pain did not. It became so severe, I was clinching my teeth together and panting to keep from throwing up. By Friday night, my knees were buckling.

I’m just out of shape. I’ll be fine after the weekend. I slept most of Saturday, I was tired. I didn’t sleep well Monday, but it didn’t matter. It’s not like this job required a lot of mental energy. And no, I don’t think my lack of sleep was the problem. I was well rested. I was feeling great! An hour in and still no pain!

And then it hit. It felt like venom shooting its way into my back and up my spine. It was only on one side.

Ignore the pain. Relax.

My first break, I took two ibuprofen and rubbed my back with horse liniment. I placed a baseball between me and the wall and rubbed it out. I went back ready for the challenge!

It only got worse. Again, I was clinching my teeth, but my knees had not yet started to buckle-I could finish this. After all, I would get used to it, or so they said.

I changed my position. I changed my movements. I ignored it. I forced myself to relax. Nothing. Worked.

Second break. More liniment. More pills. More of the baseball. By now I was texting my husband to see if he was still awake. He was. I was dreaming of working back at Wal-mart. It was a dream come true to this. I didn’t mind the work at the factory; it was just the pain. The searing, unending, unendurable pain.

I went back out. The pain continued. It got even worse. I forced positive thoughts through my head. “I can do this. I can do this.” I couldn’t do it.

I gave up. I told the manager the problem and begged for another position. He gave it to me. I didn’t last an hour. I know it was at least thirty minutes from the time stamp on the cupcakes that went by me. My new job was to make sure they were stamped correctly.

My knees buckled. The nausea came harder. My knees buckled. Again and again. My eyes teared—what was wrong with me?

Another lady there came over and asked if I was OK. I said no, that I was about to throw up from the pain. I could barely stand by that point, holding onto the sides of the conveyor just to keep from falling to the floor. Tears fell from my eyes by this point. This was no sore muscle. This was something bad.

With wet eyes I told my manager I was sorry, I couldn’t do the job. His face made it clear that the pain showed in my face. By that point, co-workers had started staring at me anyway, so I knew something was up.

That was early Tuesday morning. This morning, Wednesday, I drove my child to school. It was painful, but doable. About halfway there, my husband and child wanted me to pull over and let Dad come and do it. I had had a spasm, jerking the car to the left. I refused of course.

This afternoon I went to the massage therapist. She couldn’t be sure of course, but she gave me some advice to tell my doctor, with whom I have an appointment on Monday. She also told me to take my muscle relaxers and rest as much as possible. I had to let my dad take and pick me up from the therapist.

The job search is on hold.

Day Two-Surviving Third Shift

The one thing I thought I would hate the most and not be able to handle, I’m doing well with. Third shift. Now, I know this is more like day three, but I was too tired to write day two. That’s not because of third shift issues, it’s because of my third tip-get an exhausting job. That being said, I’m apologizing now for this post, as I’m so tired, I’m sure it’s far from the best, let alone grammatically correct.

         1. Have a bedtime routine.

My main tip is to have a nightly routine. I had one, and it helped a great deal. When you have a specific routine of 10-15 minutes before bed every night (at least M-F), your body becomes accustomed to it and will “get sleepy” when you do it. This was very beneficial to me in my transition.

My first day, I took a nap. I wasn’t very sleepy then, although I was earlier, mainly because of the normal anxiety of starting a new job.I did something really bad and ate some carbs to get sleepy and then did my normal routine. I was able to take my nap and stay up. This routine also helps when trying to sleep in the day, although that’s not really a problem for me now, as you shall later see.

Now, this routine needs to be something you do in your bed. Brushing your teeth and everything is fine, but you need something that actually happens in bed. Maybe it’s watching a show, reading a book, playing on a tablet, being with your spouse, or even prayer. I don’t recommend prayer though, because then you start falling asleep in the middle of it, and that doesn’t help anybody. My routine is turning the TV to whatever show I’m going to sleep to and playing a game on my Kindle. My eyes will droop within minutes.

I cannot stress this enough, do this routine even when you don’t need to. I sure didn’t need to do this routine when I came home last, but I did it anyway. This is what makes it routine and what makes your body accustomed to going to sleep or being sleepy when you do it. It’s also an excellent way to start your routine. If you’re sleepy anyway, take the time to do that one thing for a few minutes in order to get your body started with it.

2. Drink lots of water.

Another tip from others is to stay hydrated. I agree. I was very thirsty my first two days. Drink lots of water. Even if you don’t get thirsty, you’ll have to pee alot 🙂 and that’s will help you stay awake.

3. Get exhausted.

My job is physically exhausting, at least at first. I may not be having trouble with the one thing I thought I would, but I am with the one thing I thought I wouldn’t, the job itself. I honestly thought it would be easy. I’ve worked production before, it was pretty easy. This is not. My back hurts; my arms, fingers, and hands hurt; my feet hurt. Every part of me is tired, except my abs. I honestly need to work my abs, it would help my back, but I’m too pooped to.

Obviously this isn’t something everyone can do. I just threw it in there because it’s helped me. I do NOT have a problem going to sleep when I get home.

Well, I’m going to leave it at that. My brain is too foggy to think anymore. I know what you’re thinking, “If you’re not having trouble with third shift, how come your mind is so tired now?” Because I’m pooped. You know how you sleep in on the weekends? Well, I’ve been doing a very demanding job and would love to be asleep. I did sleep in a good hour, but I’m making myself stay awake during working hours in order to keep my schedule straight.

My First Day on Third Shift

I’m pooped. Really pooped. Really really pooped. As I’m sure you’re aware of, I have been on a job search. I have applied several places, one was the bank down the street. In the meantime, I got an offer at the bakery that’s a lot closer than the law office was. Pays more too. It’s like the receptionist at the law office (who also worked as a waitress at Longhorn) said, “I make more money in 16 hours at Longhorn than I do my whole time here.” True. I told her at the time that the receptionist job could eventually lead to something better, and that’s possible, but I also told her the truth. Production work pays far more than admin. Period.

So, what was my first day like? Exhausting. I got two days to prepare. So day one, I took a nap and stayed up until 5:00am. The next day I slept twice and stayed up until 9:00am or there abouts. The third day, I took two naps (I do better splitting my sleep up for now. Things may change as my routine gets set) and went in at 1:00am. I worked until 8:00 this morning. My job? To put cupcakes into those little plastic things that hold them.

I had watched people on youtube and marveled at their ability. I did well, but I’m still going to be several days to a couple of weeks before I can officially “do” it on my own. Fine by me. I’ve worked some hard jobs before, but this is one of the hardest.

It was an easy day in comparison though. About half the week, you do the same product all day for several days, just standing there moving cupcakes. Last night though, it was the other half. Those are the days we switch products one or more times a night, and when it’s switching from an allergen product (like peanut butter), that switchout is even more inclusive and time consuming.

It was an amazing madhouse! People everywhere. Feeders, that was me, pull our items out of the way and clean off a few things like trays and catchalls. QC comes in then and really cleans! They wash down the belts and the machines and the floors, etc. Another group, or just one woman, I’m not sure which, went through and tightened everything and made sure everything was the way it needed to be. While we were feeding, she watched the machinery to make sure it performed well. It messed up a lot.

Now for the bad part. As with any job, it’s not the job you do, it’s the people you do it with. And as usual, there’s always people to put up with. This factory has a “no profanity” policy. This factory makes snackcakes, and our break room is filled with snackcakes for us to eat, all we want. If we take any home, we are fired. Period. Well, my trainer, and everyone else I worked with, used more foul language than I have heard since the last one star NR movie on Netflix. Furthermore, upon leaving, the woman that trained me left with two boxes of snackcakes.

The woman before me was fired because the workers teamed up against her and told fibs on her to management. They came right out and told me this. They did this because she liked to “tattle” and run her mouth. In other words, I glue blinders on my eyes before I go in and leave them there until I leave. This is not uncommon in the workplace, but I was surprised to see it so openly done on my first day.

Furthermore, I’m perfectly fine not running my mouth. I have no problem sitting there silently. Although, it is expected to converse during breakdown/change over and be pleasant during break, although as the night wears on, the conversations dwindle.

So, I have had my morning sleep and spent some time with my family. I am exhausted. My chest hurts. This is common when I’m really tired. It feels like someone sitting on my chest. My arm, hand, elbow are all killing me, and I dread the thought of returning to the backbreaking job. But. I’m hoping it only gets easier with time. I’m very thankful for this job and the income it brings.

This company treats its employees better than any other place I’ve worked. We have free dinners every three months, excellent pay and benefits, an amazing set of break rooms with free food/drink dispensers and all the snackcakes you can eat (thankfully I don’t like them to begin with, so I’m not going to explode with fat cells-lol). We don’t get lunches. We get 15 minute breaks every two hours. I prefer that. That means I only work midnight to eight and then get paid a full eight hours. No clocking in and out for lunches, just nibble a bit on breaks. Get in and get out, love it. My work days are M-F, unless overtime is required, but they’re idea of Monday is 11:55pm Monday night, so I’m working 12:00am-8:00am Tuesday to the same Saturday. I’m having a heck of a time getting this straight with my thyroid medicine.

After 90 days, I’ll hopefully be hired on and be making, at minimum, what I was already making at the law office, and in a short time, be making far, far more. That’s nice. That’s really nice. In fact, with the overtime, I’m already making more than I did at the law office. Humans throughout history have done far worse jobs than this. I can do it!

Dear Mr. Bossman

Dear Mr. Bossman,

I had wanted for years to work as a secretary. It came to my attention that being a secretary by itself was low pay and hard to come by. I did see, however, that being a paralegal, or legal secretary, was better pay and easier to come by. So I went out to find a job like that.

Little did I know what I was in for.

I could write a small book on what all your problems are, but let’s narrow it down to this.

  • You are over 80 years old.
  • You are showing signs of Alzheimer.
  • You don’t want to be there anymore, and it is way past time for you to retire. It’s showing in every way imaginable.
  • You blame others for your mistakes, which are usually from a lack of memory.
  • I listened to you badmouth your previous secretary for the first 2 months of my employment to other attorneys. I can only imagine this will bode badly for me following my departure.
  • I have gone out of my way to protect you from your mistakes, but when you start blaming me, I stand up for myself.
  • The other secretary has noticed all of these factors and is very worried about her job there.

Today you told me that I use the stairs too much and therefore shouldn’t use the copier like I do. Our office is three stories. The copier is also the fax machine and printer. It is on a different floor than I am. I have to use the stairs. To follow your order of only using the printer during a specified time of the day would not only be ridiculous, but impossible. I explained this to you. I informed you that my computer could not possibly hold all those documents and would crash, causing me to lose all them. Your response of, “You’re a grown woman. You’ll figure it out,” only proved your ignorance and apathy. This was not the last straw. (Your demand of me memorizing all 81 defense cases I am responsible for made it clear to me that I will never meet your expectations.)

Why am I writing this letter to you on a blog? Because I know you will read it. You weren’t lying when you said you’re paranoid. I don’t like being investigated by a PI. And you should have ordered my transcript before hiring me, not when you think I’m too stupid to do the job, let alone have possibly gotten the grades and degrees that I did.

I am not stupid.

I am not the one with the memory problem, and I’m not taking this anymore.

I quit.

A Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving

This year we did something we hadn’t done in a loooong time, have a traditional Thanksgiving. This year, we chose to purchase our traditional Thanksgiving through Cracker Barrel. The options were the serves 6, and the serves 10. The serves 6 comes with:

  • Turkey n’ Dressing
  • Sampling of Sugar Cured Ham
  • Turkey Gravy
  • Cranberry Relish
  • Choice of 3 Sides (each serves 6)
  • and Choice of Bread

The serves 10 comes with:

  • Roasted Turkey Breast
  • Cornbread Dressing
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry Relish
  • Choice of 3 Sides (each serves 10)
  • Sweet Yeast Rolls
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie

The side choices are:

  • Cornbread dressing
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Green beans
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Baby Carrots
  • Whole corn

We chose the serves 10 for 2 reasons. One, the serves 6 came hot. The serves 10 came ready to cook. I wanted our meal to be freshly cooked, not precooked. The other reason is because we don’t eat pork, so it was useless to get the one with the ham. Also, the serves 6 just comes with “turkey and dressing”, whereas the serves 10 comes with an actual breast.

I placed the order the weekend before online, and we went to pick it up Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving. It came in a big box, especially made for it. It barely all fit in the fridge! Here’s the box with the two pies in it.

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Here’s the instruction manual that tells you how to do everything.

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Here’s all the food. Our sides were stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, and the apples. Note the small bag of individual butter servings. The turkey is in the patterned bag, bottom right.

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It also came with a complimentary set of salt and pepper shakers that look like little acorns. Cute, but we don’t need any more salt and pepper shakers.

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I was not impressed with the way the sweet potato casserole looked with the topping all globbed in the center like that, but the topping did seem dispersed after cooking and serving.

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The instructions were great, and here’s why. All the food cooks at the same temperature. So if you’re oven is big enough, you can fit it all in there without having to wait on anything. The turkey took the longest, so I put it in, waited the certain amount of time, stuck in a side, waited, added a side, etc. The lids come off, and the sides stay in the pan they came in-convenient! Save the lids for putting the food up later. The mashed potatoes required a separate dish, as their instructions were using the microwave. The stuffing had to be mixed with provided chicken broth. It was runny, but cooked to a nice consistency. The turkey took longer to cook than expected, but things happen like that all the time. Here’s the turkey.

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Here’s the turkey after 4 people got served. Now remember, this is supposed to serve 10. It could very well serve 10, but I’m sure most homes are going to eat more than their “allotted servings”. Keep that in mind if you decide to order this.

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Here was my plate. As you can see, it’s plenty to eat, but not a ridiculous amount-you know the amount most people eat around this time of year 😉

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Now for the important part, the flavor. (based off of all four people) The turkey was moist and tasty. It had obviously been seasoned. It was not a breast like a Butterball. It looked like it had been messed with somehow. The yeast rolls were like cornbread biscuits. They weren’t bad, they just weren’t yeast rolls. Not at all. The stuffing was some of the best stuffing I’ve had. The apples were good; the mashed potatoes were good (neither the best I’ve ever had, but certainly nothing to complain about). I don’t personally like cranberry relish. I want my cranberry sauce to look like it just came out of a can and got sliced, not some gourmet looking froofroo to make a bunch of used-to-be yuppies (now middle aged) feel special. However, this relish was good. And then…. stay away from the sweet potato casserole. Trust me. Don’t go there. Just don’t. It tasted like someone added a jar of lemon juice to it. NOT good. It tasted nothing like sweet potatoes, and no, that doesn’t mean that if you don’t like sweet potatoes you’ll like this. You won’t. The pecan pie was decent, again, not the best, but nothing to complain about. The pumpkin pie was very good (or so I’m told. I can’t bring myself to eat pumpkin pie).

All in all a good meal. I hope our review has been helpful 🙂

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My New Job

So, by now you’re aware that I have a new job. If not, go back and read about it. I’m a Legal Secretary. What is a Legal Secretary? A legal secretary does an attorney’s bidding, tells them when to go where, makes sure their files are in order, and pretty much does their job for them, except for dealing with the clients-at least not in my office. (I’m sure if you’ve been keeping up, you’re well aware of how much I hate dealing with customers and will realize how I am perfectly happy doing all the paperwork while leaving them to deal with people. I don’t deal with people.)

My first day:

1-Write up a Motion to Compel

A what?

On my first week, I was told to do all sorts of things that I didn’t have clue about. I now do, but I’m still slow at times. Oh, and—

2- Take a letter.

aka, have a pad with you wherever you go, period. I don’t care if it’s to the bathroom. I can’t go anywhere without, “I need to write a letter to someone, ‘Dear XXX’…” I’ll be standing there with paperclips in my mouth and arms full of papers/files, and they just dictate a letter like I have the memory of a computer, and THEY DON’T STOP!!!

It doesn’t matter if I say, “Wait a minute.” They don’t care. They just keep going. And—

3-They change the letters constantly.

Well, one of them does. There are two attorneys in my office. A younger one, and an older one. The older one is really cool. He’s patient and kind. He explains things. I like him.

The younger one has less patience, but a better memory. He explains things the older one will forget. I have to plan my questions carefully. Who do I go to with each one?

I have two templates on my Mac (I hate Mac btw. SERIOUSLY  hate Mac! I didn’t HATE Mac before now. I would just say I did. Now I truly do. I reprogrammed my keyboard, so it’s not as bad, but I really really really hate Mac. Why? For many reasons, but the main one is that they truly go out of their way to be different from the PC/aka Windows. Geez, seriously? Are you that arrogant? Apparently. Ugh!)

One template is for the older one, “General letter.” The other one is for the younger one, “General letter for XXX.” Why? Because the younger one drives me nuts!  “Put the signature over here. No no no, over here. Sigh, I’m sorry, change it back.” He is constantly changing how he wants his letters. I kept wondering why previous letters stored on the Mac were all different. Now I know why. The secretary wasn’t crazy or stupid; the lawyer has issues. Serious issues. Ugh again!!

4-I don’t get a lunch if I try to eat in the office.

Seriously, I actually had lettuce coming our of my mouth. They saw this and asked a question just prior to giving me an order. Dude-it’s my LUNCH BREAK! I don’t get a break at all except for lunch, and now I can’t even enjoy a lunch break in my office. When I’m left alone for lunch, I would turn on youtube and eat a warm salad (the fridge either doesn’t work, or isn’t plugged in—grr). Now I have to spend an extra $20 a week on lunch. Double Grr!!

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So—the cool thing is now I know how to do things I would have never thought I would have known before. Like, Motions and Notices and Releases, etc. The last secretary left no help at all, and I spent the first week, nearly the first two, trying to figure out where old files on the Mac were and finding old paper files lying around. You would not believe the mess I was left with!

I come home exhausted everyday, although that is getting easier. My exercises have gone from one hour a day, five days a week to 30 minutes a day on the days I can, hopefully eventually five days a week again, but only just 30 minutes. I leave at 7 in the morning, and return at 6. (I get off early two days a week, but I usually wind up doing enough in town to make up for it.)

But it’s worth it. I enjoy my job a great deal.

My anxiety has never gone away. It is a daily struggle, but I am getting better. By implementing my own techniques of realizing that anxiety is an emotion and can therefore be controlled, I am in control of myself. Mostly. As I sit here writing this, I wonder, “Did he really mean this when he said that? Should I worry? Am I going to get fired?” But, I have to just say, “I don’t want to feel like this.” That’s the only way for me to control it. I can’t rationalize the fear away. Let’s face it. I don’t know what he’s feeling. How can you possibly rationalize that away? He may fire me for no reason whatsoever over the weekend, and there’s nothing I can do about it. That’s life, but I don’t want to feel that way.

Like I said, it’s a daily struggle. But more on that later 🙂

PS-I will say this. My Human Communications class has really helped. Going back to school was a wise decision. Not only did it land me a job via helping me with the interview, it has helped me be more assertive. I have also worked on personal growth. I had a lot of personality problems I needed to work on. I’m doing better in those categories now-yay!

Applying for My New Job

For those who read this blog rather regularly, you will understand what a decent job means to me.

I had tried for years to find one. To be honest, I didn’t want a full time position until recently, for it was only then that our son was old enough for me to do that. But after too much time searching for one and not finding it, I resorted to going back to school in order to get an MLT certificate. That stands for Medical Lab Tech. But then something happened.

I was at an author event, the Thunderroad Author Relay, and I got to talking to one of the other authors there. She works at a bank and was telling me the wages of some of the bank employees there. That’s when I started to get a little frustrated. Why was I going to school to make the same amount of money as a bank teller?

See, tellers, according to her, made at least $22k a year, and would grow to much more. I knew that an MLT started out at $22k, recently raised to $24k in my area, but I would rather do office work. I like paperwork and numbers, and MLT’s either have to be phlebotomists (making less money in a doctor’s office and dealing with patients) or work in a hospital. A hospital setting is more often than not PRN. That means they call you when they need you, you don’t get benefits, and it’s probably not full time or it’s a terrible schedule. You also have to work on a concrete floor. It may have tile on top, but it’s concrete underneath. I did that enough at walmart, not again, thank you. Furthermore, MLT’s top out low and quick. Ick. I could hope for a Medical Lab Technologist, a managerial role to the Medical Lab Technician, in a few years, but those jobs were hard to come by and dropping.

So, I started sending out resumes. I opted for the functional resume instead of the chronological one for several reasons. One, few of my jobs were really relevant to the ones I was applying for, and two, my work history wasn’t pretty. I didn’t have any long standing full-time positions, and my longest position ever was less than two years. Chronological resumes don’t show that stuff. They’re great for stay-at-home parents getting back into the workforce, like me.

I also researched the salaries of the jobs I was applying for, mainly legal secretaries. I had pondered the notion of going to school to become a paralegal, but that was when I had all those health issues, and my doctor said not to do it. Being a legal secretary was something I had first gotten interested in back in 2005, I think, and had romanticized about it every since.

When I got to the interview, one of the first questions they asked me was, “Why are you applying here when you have a degree in Biochemistry?” I get that a lot. Pretty discriminatory and ignorant, if you ask me. Few people actually stay in the field they start out in or major in. That’ s just the way it works. Luckily for me, however, they were pretty hard up for a new secretary and knew someone that had also spread their wings away from their collegiate major.

I wore my best business suit, I was applying for Legal Secretary afterall, and utilized every communications lesson I had ever had: eye contact, body language, active listening, blah blah blah. It worked great! Obviously, because I got the job.

I can’t remember if I mentioned this or not, but I had been volunteering at my son’s school to pay for his tuition. I was teaching biology there to the 10th graders. I told them I needed a week because of that. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that week hit the school’s fall break. Oops.

That turned out quite well (for me) though. I used that time to complete all my other class work where I had gone back to school. I saw no reason to drop out this late in the game. It made me look bad, and I had already paid the money. I’m taking 3 classes: speech, computer science, and medical terminology. The last two are 100% online, so I was able to finish those up, save a couple of discussion forum posts that I can easily do in two 10 minute spurts when they’re scheduled (one of them has actually already passed just this past week).

I still have to do the speech class, which has proven to be the most challenging overall. Ew. It meets every other week and requires several hours of work per week.

My son’s school was sad to see me go, which made me feel good and sad all at once, but they were also very accommodating and happy for me. Everyone has been very supportive :).

This adventure will continue in another blog post, My New Job

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